Date of Award

December 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical Engineering and Computer Science


Wenliang Du


Android, Security, TrustZone

Subject Categories



Smartphones have become an essential part of our lives, and are used daily forimportant tasks like banking, shopping, and making phone calls. Smartphones provide several interaction channels which can be affected by a compromised mobile OS. This dissertation focuses on the user interaction channels of UI input and audio I/O. The security of the software running on smartphones has become more critical because of widespread smartphone usage. A technology called TEE (Trusted Execution Environment) has been introduced to help protect users in the event of OS compromise, with the most commonly deployed TEE on mobile devices being ARM TrustZone.

This dissertation utilizes ARM TrustZone to provide secure design for user interactionchannels of UI input (called Truz-UI) and Audio I/O for VoIP calls (called Truz-Call). The primary goal is to ensure that the design is transparent to mobile applications. During research based on TEE, one of the important challenges that is encountered is the ability to prototype a secure design. In TEE research one often needs to interface hardware peripherals with the TEE OS, which can be challenging for non-hardware experts, depending on the available support from the TEE OS vendor. This dissertation discusses a simulation based approach (called Truz-Sim) that reduces setup time and hardware experience required to build a hardware environment for TEE prototyping.


Open Access

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Engineering Commons